Do you feel as if you’re adrift in the world, working hard but not getting anywhere? One of the main reasons you may be feeling this way is that you haven’t spent enough time thinking about what you want out of life, and you haven’t set yourself specific goals.  You wouldn’t embark on a journey without knowing where you’re going! 

Goals are set by many top-level athletes, successful executives, and achievers in all disciplines. Goal setting provides long-term vision and motivation by assisting you in organising your time and resources to make the most of your life.

Goals, according to Jasmine Clarke, a Square Health lifestyle coach, are fantastic because they can help you dream about the future and offer you hope.  Achieving your goals gives you satisfaction and joy, which then carries onto the next goal and builds again and again. Goal setting creates momentum and injects life with a freshness where things feel stagnant, and it introduces challenge when things feel comfortable.

According to Jasmine, there are three stages to defining and achieving goals:

1. The Starting Line

2. The Journey

3. The Win

Jasmine will work through each of these steps to provide you with a clear framework for defining and attaining goals.

  1. The Starting Line

This can be a particularly difficult part of goal setting. Your entire life is in front of you, and you don’t know where to begin or what goals to set. Is the goal too big?

  • Start Dreaming

You need to draw strength from within yourself, stop panicking, and begin dreaming. Begin to visualise your goals and what you want to achieve.

Imagine your life in six months, one year, five years’ time. What does it look like? What do you need to do to take you there? Take some time to write down some big goals that will propel you to the future you see and do this periodically. You could do this in January and September which are natural moments in the calendar of transition and reflection but anytime is a good time!

  • Break it down

Break your goal down into lots of mini goals and set timeframes for some that are closer in time. This makes them more achievable and easier to get going with. Try not to set too many overall goals at once as you will lose focus and it will be harder to achieve even one of them.

  • Be Realistic

Be realistic about the time you have. If you have a BIG goal for the next six months but don’t have any time to put into it – how realistic is it? Are you setting yourself up to fail? If you only have five minutes a day, what can you achieve? If you have one hour? Two hours? If your goals are important to you but you just don’t have the time, then you need to look at how you are using your time currently. Can you look at some time management techniques? Look at prioritisation? If it is important to you, then make it work.

Stop doing something else so you can do what you need to do.

2. The Journey

The journey to achieving goals can have its ups and downs, one minute you achieved some of your mini goals but in the next, life has gotten in the way, and you’ve stalled.

Give yourself some grace. We all lose track. Just start again and give yourself some small wins towards your goal again. You may need to readdress when you’d like to achieve your goal if it is not realistic now. There is no shame in shifting your timeline, you are still further on than if you didn’t set that goal in the first place! Don’t beat yourself up, that is not using your energy for a good purpose.

  • Keep it visual – make sure your goal is visible in your life. Vision boards, images stuck onto your wall, sticky notes, or screen backgrounds on phones. Keep reminding yourself of your goal. Keep it in the forefront of your mind regularly.
  • Be accountable – how much harder will you work towards a goal if you’ve told someone you’re aiming for it? Tell someone your goal and ask them to check in on you from time to time. Tell them how it’s going every month, every week. It is pointless to spend time defining goals only to neglect to review them on a regular basis, and accountability is an excellent way to do so.
  • You could set phone reminders or make a habit of checking your progress against each goal at regular intervals, such as every pay day or the first of the month. Maintain your focus and keep going. 

This is where coaching comes in – you can use your lifestyle coach to be accountable to. Tell them your goal and then catch up with them about your progress. It will really help you to achieve what you want to achieve.

3. The Finish Line

Different goals will take less or more time to achieve. Some are BIG and will take years. Some are goals where you can reach the finish line tomorrow. Your finish line may change, or you may decide you don’t want to do that goal anymore and start working towards another goal. However, if you work at it and really want it, you can achieve your goals.

So, as you cross that finish line, there are two things I want you to do: reward yourself and remember what you have accomplished.

  • Reward

When you race for a goal, you are racing alone; there are no competitors in your race, thus when you cross the finish line, you are the winner! And what do the winners get? Prizes. So, reward yourself! The goal will be the major prize, but when you reach it, celebrate!

Consider what you would like to be rewarded for achieving your goal. It might be as simple as a chocolate bar or a bottle of fizz enjoyed with family and friends. Or something more substantial, such as a holiday abroad or a day off from work. 

  • Remember

It is important that you remember what you have accomplished in order to motivate you to pursue your next goal. This creates momentum and makes you believe you can accomplish the next thing. How do you remember? How about a picture by your workspace that represents your achievement? A trinket from the journey to your last goal?  It doesn’t have to be something big, just something that reminds you of all you’ve achieved.

I hope you now feel equipped to start setting yourself some goals, in your personal life and work life. Good luck and happy goal setting.

Jasmine Clarke | Square Health Lifestyle Coach

Growing up I was always curious about what makes people tick and how our minds work, which lead me to complete a first-class Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. This has been the foundation for my passion for training and coaching people. I am skilled in the art of helping people focus, set, and achieve goals, form great habits that serve them, prioritise what matters and organise their lives. I can help you look at what you’d like to aim for, break it down so it is realistic and manageable and then support you with the motivation and accountability to see you thrive.

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